Sunday, 30 November 2014

A Week in Paris by Rachel Hore

****

Fay Knox, a talented musician, was born on the day that World War II started.  She doesn’t remember her early childhood or her father, who she was told was killed in the air raid that destroyed their London home and prompted the move to a Norfolk village with her mother Kitty.  A school trip to France triggers feelings of déjà vu, but several years later the opportunity to perform with an orchestra in Paris finally prompts Kitty to give her a clue to enable her to unravel her family history.

I love everything that Rachel Hore has written and so was desperate to read her latest. It’s a great read, although (mildly embarrassed shrug) I didn’t love it as much as some of her earlier novels.  The atmospheric story of Kitty and Gene living in Nazi occupied Paris, where ordinary people showed such bravery was gripping and heart-breaking.  I loved those sections and the build up to the sacrifices and quiet heroism of some characters was so moving; but as I got further into the story I was less interested in Fay and didn’t really warm to her part in the narrative.

It’s a well written, complex book and Kitty is a fantastic character, just a shame I didn’t rate her daughter as highly!

Thank you to the publishers, netgalley and Good Housekeeping Magazine for the review copy.